OpenPrinting : MacOSX
Currently, we have no maintainer for the Mac OS X packages and web pages. Therefore we are not able to keep the resources for Mac OS X up-to-date or give support for them. User-to-user support for printing under Mac OS X is available in our Mac OS X forum. Other sources for help are Apple's Discussion forums (Tiger printing and Panther and Jaguar printing) and the CUPS newsgroups/mailing lists.
Volunteers for overtaking the maintainership of our Mac OS X resources are welcome.
Welcome to the Mac OS X section of OpenPrinting. Beginning with Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), Apple started using the embedded printing system called CUPS (Common Unix Printing System). This means that Mac users can now avail themselves of many of the free, open source printer drivers. Getting these open source drivers to function in the Mac OS X environment can seem a bit confusing. It is mostly a modular system. Rather than using one single installer provided by the printer manufacturer, Mac users may now have to install several pieces of software. It may require installing a printer driver, Ghostscript (an open-source PostScript interpreter), foomatic-rip (a CUPS filter script), and a foomatic PPD (PostScript Printer Description) for each supported printer. The Mac OS X packages and instructions included on this site will help lead you through the process. All software required for a particular Mac OS X driver will be listed on that driver's page. Further help and support can be found in the Mac OS X FAQ and Mac OS X forum.
Even though your printer manufacturer may have supplied a driver for your printer, you may still benefit from these open source drivers. Many Mac OS X printer drivers that the manufacturer supplies may not work if you are trying to use the printer in a networked environment. Virtually all of the open source drivers can utilize all the capabilities built into the CUPS printing system. That includes printing over a network. Some people refer to these drivers as CUPS drivers.
Please note that all Mac OS X packages on this site require Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) or higher.
The OpenPrinting site also contains a number of resources to help you with your printing problems under Mac OS X. It includes a printer support database, a project list, the Foomatic printing infrastructure, and more. There are over 250 printer drivers and over 2000 printers in the database. Mac OS X packages are not available all drivers. If no Mac package is listed for the printer driver you need, please ask about it in the Mac OS X forum. Unfortunately, getting the drivers to work may require more advanced skills, such as compiling source code, and generally goes beyond the scope of user-to-user help forums. Please try to be patient and realistic in your expectations.
Researching a printer purchase? Browse the database. As you narrow the field, check to see if the printer is supported by one of the Mac OS X packages listed above.